Castlefield celebrates 20th anniversary with further growth on the menu

By Nathan Cameron

Castlefield, the employee-owned financial and investment management business based in Manchester, is aiming to continue its growth as it celebrates 20 years of sustainable and ethical investing.

John Eckersley, senior partner, founded Castlefield in June 2002 with a team of three. Its vision was to create a financial services firm that specialised in providing responsible investment and advice to charities, private individuals and financial advisers.

The company mission is centred around gathering assets to do good, helping clients to align their finances with their values, as the company specialises in sustainable and ethical investing.

Commenting on the significance of the 20-year milestone, Castlefield founder John Eckersley said: "There’ve been many changes since 2002, but I think the most significant one has been the growth in demand for responsible and sustainable investing. What used to be a niche specialist practice has become more mainstream over recent years.

“It’s positive that more people are concerned about matters around environmental, social and governance factors however this has also meant a degree of greenwashing and watering down of standards as some firms try to capitalise. Fortunately, we’ve been pioneering in this space for over two decades and have developed an authentic and rigorous approach, which means clients benefit from values-based investment delivered by a values-based manager.

“At Castlefield, responsible investing isn’t simply a product or one of our range of services – it’s integral to everything we stand for and do. When coupled with our employee-owned business, it means we’ve built our firm with our own corporate sustainability very much in mind. That’s why we’re known as the thoughtful investor ®.”

“It's great to be at the twenty-year mark when there is so much optimism and demand for more ethical investing; seeing it on the up is truly rewarding, especially when it’s been an underdog for so long!"

Alongside the 20 year anniversary of the firm, the company is also celebrating the ten year milestone for its signature model portfolios, available widely via financial advisers.

Castlefield has enjoyed a number of other successes of late, as they were recently announced as winners of the EIRIS Foundation’s £1m investment challenge. Funds in the Castlefield Sustainable fund range have also been shortlisted for a number of industry awards - including those from ESG Clarity and the Small Cap Network.

The company also recently announced its net zero targets, committing to make its operations and supply chain net zero by 2030. In the last two decades Castlefield has witnessed many major challenges and key developments in the financial services sector.

Looking to the future, John Eckersley said the business wants to continue its growth and increase co-owners in the Castlefield team as they work towards achieving £1bn AUM.

"The pandemic has brought about substantial changes in how clients interact with us and how we deliver some of our services. We also saw increased demand for specialist ESG funds, especially as investors reviewed how their finances can affect change and how COP26 brought many environmental concerns to the surface in mainstream media.

“We anticipate that these changes will be long lasting, especially moving to using online tools, continuing to deepen our authority and ESG expertise, along with even more advanced hybrid working.

“With this in mind, we have recently expanded our investment management team, with the recruitment of further ESG expertise. We’re expecting to increase our team of specialists further over the next 12 months as we continue to grow."